We've been doing this column for a long time, but we believe there's been a mix-up. Just to be clear: When we say "FTW vs. WTF," we mean "'Freakingawesome times, woman!' vs. 'Where's the Fun?'" And in case that isn't clear, "Freakingawesome times, woman!" means 'HellaCoolRadBro' and 'Where's the fun?' means "This tastes like butt." Internet parlance is a new language, and we consider ourselves on the forefront, KWIMMJG?* Anyway, now that THAT'S settled, here's what we liked and didn't like about television this week.
* Know what I mean, Mean Joe Green?
Oh wait one more thing! Quick housekeeping announcement, we're starting to experiment with topic-based communities here on the site—up until now, we've only had them for individual shows—and we've gone ahead and launched one that's devoted solely to "FTW vs. WTF." That means you can now discuss the FTWs and WTFs of television all week long, and we may even include some of your posts in our weekly round-up! Okay, now back to your regularly scheduled programming...
Rest in peace, Marcia Wallace.
Timothy Olyphant's hair on The Mindy Project
Oh sure, Olyphant's performance as the deadbeat skater bro Graham was really funny, perhaps one of the better guest stints we've seen on a comedy this year. And sure, it was great to see him with his shirt off, particularly with all those tattoos. But the hair? The hair was otherworldly. Now we kind of want to see it become part of a really weird arc on Season 5 of Justified.
Overall, Glee's Katy Perry vs. Lady Gaga episode was surprisingly fun
Well, except for the time Schue suspended Marley from New Directions because she didn't want to wear a revealing outfit that made her uncomfortable. WTF, Schue. We expect better of— you know what? No we don't. Creeper.
Adventure Time kicks off a new multipart story
One of the pleasures of Adventure Time this (very long) season has been its willingness to engage in serialized stories like Finn dealing with his romantic feelings in all sorts of great ways. While "Play Date" wasn't terribly exciting overall—though we did love BMO attempting to hijack Abracadaniel's interpretative dance number—the end of the episode had Ice King and Abracadaniel summoning Kee-Oth the Blood Demon from Joshua the Dog's Blood Sword! Kee-Oth managed to disappear with Jake, leaving all of us wondering, "WHERE'S JAKE, FINN? WHERE IS HE? WHERE'S JAKE?"
From former Adventure Timer Rebecca Sugar comes Cartoon Network's delightful Steven Universe. It's a charming scramble of pre-teen-y Scott Pilgrim, 8-bit soundtracks, Powerpuff Girls, and magical anime—elements that mesh better than you might think. The show revels in the easy chemistry and gender dynamics between Steven and the sister-like Crystal Gems superheroes he lives with, AND it's groundbreaking in that Sugar is Cartoon Network's first solo female series creator in its 21-year existence. Definitely something to keep an eye on.
Did you already give up on the new ABC comedy? Because this week's episode ("Call Me When You Get There," which was all about conning your parents) was the best installment yet of a series that keeps getting better and better. Of course, it helped that the focus was on the sitcom's best characters—Barry, Murray, and Beverly—but what really makes The Goldbergs work is the way it strips down the family comedy to its most basic elements. It doesn't matter what decade it is, because these stories are timeless. And if you haven't yet felt the awesomeness of Barry Goldberg, just wait 'til you watch him run around the woods in search of a phone to call his mom.
The @TVNetworkNotes Twitter account
This Twitter feed featuring notes from TV networks with suggestions on how to fix scripts and shoots is sparsely maintained, but every update is gold. Is it real? Is it fake? Who cares, it can't be too far from the truth.
American Horror Story's zombie chainsaw massacre
"Burn, Witch. Burn" was an all-around great episode. Zoe destroying a horde of voodoo zombies—first with a chainsaw and then with her brain magic—was definitely a highlight.
Professor Proton returns to The Big Bang Theory
In a classic case of November Sweeps stuntcasting, the legendary Bob Newhart reprised his Emmy-winning guest role as Sheldon's childhood hero, and Bill Nye dropped by, too. And while the rivalry between the two TV hosts was heartily enjoyable, once again, the elderly educator's Sheldon-induced exasperation truly stole the show.
Damon Wayans Jr.'s Coach made his much-anticipated return this week, and while the episode's major brodown had its high points, it also served to underscore what happens when you pair a one-note character with three others (okay, 2.5, sorry Winston) who've had 50+ episodes to grow. Thankfully, New Girl will have the time to develop Coach now that he's sticking around for the rest of the season, but let's hope all the YELLING dies down. Also: Taye Diggs was amazing in his random guest appearance, which made Coach's return look even worse in comparison.
Ted's underwhelming proposal on How I Met Your Mother
We're all for How I Met Your Mother moving the story along in this very, very long wedding weekend, but if we're being honest, Ted's proposal atop a lighthouse balcony was kind of boring. First, it was buried in what was essentially the B-story, and then, it wasn't as romantic or crazy as we were expecting. Maybe it's a sign that Ted didn't need to overcompensate once he found the right person, but it still felt a little weak. And the horrible greenscreen didn't help.
Jimmy Kimmel can be a real dick... and it's oh-so-hilarious
On Monday night, the late-night host revealed the results of his third annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" YouTube challenge, and seeing the victimized kiddos cry just broke our hearts. But damn if it didn't crack us up, too (we're terrible people).
History is remaking Roots because LITERALLY nothing is sacred on this godforsaken rock
The reboots, remakes, and reimaginings will never stop. Ever. Even after civilization as we know it is long gone, a few network executives will survive, trying to determine whether they should remake Gilmore Girls or try a gritty version of Work It!
Henry Wilcox gets away (again) on Covert Affairs
Despite earning a spot on this week's "WTF" list, Wilcox's escape is actually kind of a compliment for the writing staff of Covert Affairs, who've managed to craft a villain so loathsome and awful that the idea of him avoiding punishment for even just two more episodes is entirely too much.
The People's Choice Awards think Downton Abbey is a cable series
We don't expect much from the PCAs. The winners are informed of their victories in advance in order to ensure they either show up or record an acceptance speech, and while the voting process isn't the best, it's typically still interesting to see who wins. We do, however, expect the event to know the difference between cable channels and broadcast networks when it comes to nominees for the Best Cable Series category. Hey PCAs, Downton Abbey does not air on a cable channel; it airs on the Public BROADCASTING Service. We've made our peace with the fact that everyone else in the world thinks American Horror Story is a miniseries, but not realizing that PBS isn't cable is just a sad state of affairs.
It's game over for Back in the Game
We forgot to mention this one last week, but ABC's new youth-baseball/family comedy won't go beyond the 13 innings that were initially ordered, as the network had to make some cuts. The up-and-down series wasn't performing at an all-star level in the ratings department, but the show's cast (especially Maggie Lawson, James Caan, and Ben Koldyke), humor, and solid relationships deserved to stick around longer than some of the other comedies that made the cut.
What in the flying f*ck, Homeland?!? The once-intelligent thriller is now scraping the bottom of the soap dish with a storyline about its heroic protagonist cooking up a bun in her Lithium-soaked oven. Mysteries about the father's identity still remain (though most signs point to Brody), but either way, this mother-to-be has been shot up with drugs, pounding wine, and entering high-stress situations without batting an eyelash. Does this kid even stand a chance?
And of course, the biggest WTF of all goes to Carrie's drawer full of used pregnancy tests.
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week?